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Storm Arwen: Two people dead after 100mph winds and heavy snow hit UK



At least two people have been killed after Storm Arwen brought winds of nearly 100mph and heavy snow to the UK, tearing down trees, damaging buildings and leaving more than 150,000 people without power.

A man died late on Friday after a tree fell on him in the Lake District town of Ambleside, Cumbria Police said.

Police, paramedics and firefighers were to the incident 11pm but the victim, from Lancaster, was pronounced dead at the scene.

He is the second person confirmed to have died during severe weather caused by Storm Arwen. A driver was killed in Antrim, Northern Ireland, earlier on Friday when a falling tree hit his car.

The Met Office had issued a red wind warning for parts of northeast England. It expired early on Saturday, but the forecaster said amber and yellow warnings for wind remained in place across large swathes of the country.

Marco Petagna, a Met Office forecaster, said: “We’ve seen some pretty severe gusts overnight with the highest speeds hitting 98mph at Brizlee Wood in Northumberland.

“Elsewhere, exposed sites in Scotland and Northern Ireland also surpassed 90mph, with 70-80mph seen more widely in the north of the UK, though parts of southern England and Wales also felt the effects of the storm.

“This has been coupled with a few inches of snow which has fallen in some areas.

“In the higher ground areas of Scotland we expected to see up to 15cm falling but the strong winds meant the snow blew around and created a blizzard in some parts.”

More than 120 lorries became stuck on the M26 motorway in Friday night, forcing the closure of the motorway.

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North West Motorway Police said snow ploughs had been deployed to clear the road between junctions 21 and 22.

Junctions seven and eight were also shut after being closed due to a lorry being flipped onto its side after being involved in a road traffic collision.

Police said a driver and passenger were taken to hospital.

The Met Office said people should only travel if absolutely necessary, describing condition as “horrendous” across “a wide swathe of the United Kingdom”.

Fallen debris caused road closures in the worst-affected areas of Scotland, with Inverbervie on the north-east coast seeing gusts of 78mph.

The forecaster has warned that the north-east and north-west of England, Yorkshire, the West Midlands and East Midlands should expect the cold weather to last until Monday.

Amber warnings will remain in place for the north-east coasts of England and Scotland, and the south-west coasts of England and Wales. Yellow warnings will cover most of the UK until 6pm today (27 November).

People have been advised to be wary of travelling on Saturday, as train networks across the UK reported disruption to services.

All Avanti West Coast services North of Carlisle were cancelled on Saturday, with customers “strongly advised” not to attempt to travel on the route. Other services are running but may be subject to delays of 120 minutes.

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ScotRail services were disrupted between Edinburgh and Glasgow Queen Street, Dunblane and Stirling after a barn was blown on to the line close to Polmont, near Falkirk.

TransPennine Express customers were urged not to travel, with services between Newcastle and Edinburgh cancelled.

South Western Railway expected disruption on Saturday morning due to “multiple trees and obstructions blocking the railway”, while London North East Railway warned customers not to travel north of York due to “significant damage”.

Dorset Council reported that trees and power cables had fallen on roads in the area, while road closures were reported more widely in the worst-affected parts of northern England and Scotland.

Social media footage appeared to show a number of lorries and cars stuck on roads where snow had fallen, with ploughs being deployed in a number of areas.

Homes across all parts of the UK were damaged as the gusts struck.

Energy Networks Association, which represents the UK’s energy network operators, urged customers to stay clear of any fallen power lines and report them immediately.

It came as Northern Powergrid said severe gales had caused power cuts for more than 55,000 customers, mainly in the Northumberland, County Durham and Tyne and Wear areas.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks said 75,000 homes were without power as as of 9.30am on Saturday. It said it had restored service to 40,000 warned the weather was severely hampering its work.





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